Last week, the international and local English language media used several words to describe the situation at the Polytechnic University. They all used the words “siege”, “besiege”, “blockade”, and “stand-off”. Some media also used the word “shimmying”. These words, especially the slang word “shimmying”, are seldom used by local Hong Kong people. The noun “siege” means surrounding a place so neither people nor supplies can go in or out. Armies sometimes surround the places of their enemies to stop them from escaping and to prevent food getting in. The verb of “siege” is “besiege”. Hong Kong and foreign English media said the police had besieged the Polytechnic University to stop protesters from escaping and to stop their supporters from going in.
The word “blockade” can be used either as a noun or a verb and is similar to “siege” or “besiege”. It means to block a place or country so nothing can get in or out. For example, the US blockaded Cuba during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when the former Soviet Union put nuclear missiles in Cuba. The Soviet Union removed the missiles when the late US President John Kennedy warned of a nuclear war. The word “stand-off” means when two sides cannot agree on something and neither side can win unless one side agrees to the conditions of the other side. The word “shimmy” is a kind of dance in which the whole body shakes. But it can also mean quickly climbing up or down a rope or a pole.
Some protesters inside the Polytechnic University escaped by shimmying down a rope to the ground level where supporters with motorcycles took them to safety. News reports said about 100 protesters escaped by shimmying down a rope to be rescued by supporters with motorcycles. You can see the video of this escape on social media. It is like a movie. I have to admit young Hong Kong protesters are very brave. Some of them found a way to escape from the police siege.
一些理工大學內的示威者，游繩（shimmying down a rope）逃至地面，有駕駛電單車的支持者接應，載他們逃至安全地方。新聞報道說，大約有一百名示威者以游繩（shimmying down a rope）的方式逃脫，由駕電單車的支持者所營救。你可以在社交網站上看到這次逃逸的影片，活像電影的場景。我必須承認，香港年輕示威者真的非常勇敢。他們有些人找到了逃離警方圍困（siege）的方法。中譯：七刻mickchug@gmail.com
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧